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matchmaking & rank insecurity

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USrank[I]amNot[null]Bla1
6 months ago
One of the reasons I'm starting to play Zero-K less is because of the current skill based ranking system. I got lots of elo by beating people in the steam release, and now I'm sitting at Giant. However, I'm already getting my ass whooped by people in subgiant. I enjoy playing matchmaking, however, I also don't want to lose my rank. I realize many people may find this amusing, as it is a simple icon on my profile, but I still don't want to lose it.

I'm wondering how many other people feel this way.

I propose that matchmaking should have a ranked mode and unranked mode. Both players will still be put into the same queue, only when you queue as ranked, the match result will affect your competitive elo and your rank, but when you queue as unranked, the match result will only affect your casual elo, which will be behind the scenes and won't affect your rank.
+3 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
6 months ago
Refreshingly honest. People tend not to like admitting they're attached to the identity they don't feel is earned. It's irrational, but people aren't rational.

My understanding is that casual and competitive seed for each other a bit? So not easily uncoupleable. I could be wrong, CHrankAdminDeinFreund will probably clear it up.

I empathise with the issue, but don't like that it will effectively reduce the accuracy of the system by reducing sample size. It's a match-making system first and a ranking system second after all.

Personally, a big reason I don't play 1v1 much anymore is that I feel like there's not many people with which I'm evenly matched. I feel like I know who's going to win most games before I start play. Looking at the ladder, there's a lot of people around my rank... I should be able to have a good match through from rank 10 to 50 or so... so I shouldn't be anymore in this boat than anyone else. It's just that I can't reliably find those people on ladder, it always feels like I'm gonna get matched against top 8 and get crushed, or below 50 and crush.
+5 / -0

USrankcathartes
6 months ago
I think I'll feel better if I lose a rank, since I'm near the bottom of Supergiant and I believe I am overrated (probably from beating newbs after the Steam release, who turned out to be better). I've had this pattern recently: I play MM games, mostly losing to people with similar rating, and my rating goes down. But then when I stop playing for a bit (being busy with stuff that's not ZK), my rating goes up (presumably because the people I played improved rapidly).

Clear downward trend in my skill since Steam release (only 10 points, but it's there):


But that peak on Apr 29 has been getting higher since WHR can retroactively change rating, so my visible rating actually increased since the Steam release despite the reported downward trend.

I think your current rank is fairly safe; you're in the middle of Giant (look at that progress bar on your userpage) and will need to lose over 100 rating points to drop a rank with the current playerbase. My Supergiant rank is not as safe; I'm barely hanging on to it now and will probably lose it as the active player base gradually shrinks and becomes more skilled on average (due to the influx of new players slowing). But until I lose it, yeah, I guess I have a bit of rank insecurity.
+1 / -0

PLrankOrfelius
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

USrankcathartes but can't you see that you only lost 10 WHR?

Also WHR is garbage. It doesn't work when people are improving and they always do. Just at different paces. I don't have to play any games for weeks and if I win just a couple of games would equal the amount of daily grind.

Tbh the current system simply promotes smurfing because of the way of how easy it is to gain ranking as a new player. The more you play the harder it is for you to climb. The system simply discourages players from playing the game. Oh yeah but true it is more accurate! Or is it? If I smurf and rank higher than my normal account is that smurf the accurate representation of my chance to win or is the old account with biased past record?

The more you play the better you get at the game. Yet WHR just simply ignores that time and assumes that long term monthly improvements are more important.

But hey I'm not a developer of this game and I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about.
+1 / -0

GBrankJazcash
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

It's funny because DrDoom is probably about as good as me, if not better. Yet after 500 games he was still way down at rank #40 whilst I was at #12 after about a dozen games because I'd barely played ZK at all.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

quote:
My understanding is that casual and competitive seed for each other a bit

Casual briefly included data from Competitive, but then SErankGodde complained and now they are completely split.

quote:
Also WHR is garbage. It doesn't work when people are improving and they always do. Just at different paces.

You're entirely wrong. WHR does all those things and just looking at skill graphs of people who played for over a month should make it obvious.

quote:
Tbh the current system simply promotes smurfing because of the way of how easy it is to gain ranking as a new player.

What? I thought people smurfed to get easier matches. WHR converging much faster means you get less games per smurf account before you're at your true level.

quote:
The more you play the harder it is for you to climb. The system simply discourages players from playing the game.

My dude, you should really lay off that contrarianism! Not only was this true with regular old elo, but are you suggesting grinding the stat is the only reason to play? But then ZK is just a shitty ProgressQuest ripoff.

quote:
The more you play the better you get at the game. Yet WHR just simply ignores that time and assumes that long term monthly improvements are more important.

I don't think WHR has any special monthly routines. Or that it ignores progress. This is just weird.

quote:
It's funny because DrDoom is probably about as good as me, if not better. Yet after 500 games he was still way down at rank #40 whilst I was at #12 after about a dozen games because I'd barely played ZK at all.

I think you are underselling yourself. I don't remember losing duels to Doom.
+4 / -0


JPrankgajop
6 months ago
AUrankSnuggleBass I share the same experience with you. The current system often makes matches that are entirely one sided because some people think any match is better than no match.
+3 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
6 months ago
What is a good winrate for matchmade matches?
+0 / -0

USrankFealthas
6 months ago
100% for max player retention and rank security.
+3 / -0



RUrankAdminikinz
6 months ago
The default graph view should show the full Y axis range starting from zero, then ppl wouldn't be so prone to over-analyzing <10 changes in WHR. Make them press a button if they really want a cut off zero.
+3 / -0



USrankCrazyEddie
6 months ago
quote:
100% for max player retention and rank security.

A joke, but with some truth. I wonder if you could implement a MM system where players were given an option of how easy or hard a match they wanted, and then people wanting easy matches could be paired against people wanting hard matches. It would be like smurfing, but legit. You could only do this if the MM pool were large enough, so I'm not seriously suggesting it for ZK.

However, maybe here's an idea that actually could help us. Have an option for how loose a match the player is willing to accept, and give them some feedback of how long they may have to wait in order to get the match they want. Tighter matches are better games, but maybe someone would rather take a looser match just to play instead of wait. So instead of answering GoogleFrog's question and mandating the match tolerance for everyone, let people decide for themselves what their tolerance should be.

+4 / -0

NLrankmalric
6 months ago
Like the spirit of the idea. Wouldn't be simpler to have some indication of the next match and allow rejects without punishement? Like: "matched to a very challenging game? start or wait more?".
+1 / -0



USrankCrazyEddie
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

quote:
Personally, a big reason I don't play 1v1 much anymore is that I feel like there's not many people with which I'm evenly matched.

Give yourself a handicap when you play against someone obviously below your skill. You could even come up with some kind of standardized handicap, like "build one storage at the start of the game for every 50 points in ratings difference" or some such.

Ideally, you would be able to somehow indicate to the ZK infrastructure that a match should be unrated, so that WHR would not take your handicapped play into consideration (which would otherwise incorrectly lower your rating and raise that of your opponent and all other players). Maybe there could be a setting like "Put me in a rated game if the win prediction is 40%-60%, otherwise put me in an unrated game with up to a 10%-90% prediction". It would be like simultaneously joining a ranked queue and an unranked queue and taking the first match you can get that meets your preferences.
+0 / -0

PLrankOrfelius
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

Well congrats now smurfing not only promotes easier matches (since you can just keep creating new smurfs for absolutely free) but also you prompt other people to smurf as well to actually get the rating they actually deserve. Its amazing how you managed to get both of these effects together I'm impressed.

EErankAdminAnarchid WHR takes to account your inactivity. If you become inactive your uncertainity grows which in turn means that you get you will acheive your rank faster. Because recent matches have higher weight that the older ones. So not only you can't grind but you will actually gain more points... BY NOT PLAYING. I guess I just gotta buy a VPN to not keep myself rusty and see you in a year when I will actually be able to place on the ladder where I belong.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
6 months ago
quote:
but also you prompt other people to smurf as well to actually get the rating they actually deserve

What? No. WHR is quicker to catch up to what's happening than elo, but you don't make WHR more accurate by removing data.

What will likely happen though is that you're gonna get spotted and your elo merged, for precisely zero difference towards "attaining proper ranking" compared to if you played under your main.

quote:
WHR takes to account your inactivity. If you become inactive your uncertainity grows which in turn means that you get you will acheive your rank faster.

You can't use that to actually grow your rank, though. You have to actually win for that, and i don't see how periods of inactivity which grow your uncertainty will help you actually defeat a similarly-skilled player, especially consistently so. If you can pull that off, you can just do it without waiting for uncertainty to grow. Because you're legit good.

quote:
So not only you can't grind but you will actually gain more points... BY NOT PLAYING. I guess I just gotta buy a VPN to not keep myself rusty and see you in a year when I will actually be able to place on the ladder where I belong.

Your skill grows in inactivity in absolute terms because there's a ranking inflation with new players bringing new points into the system - sure. But you won't grow anywhere high this way, because the people higher on the ladder will capture a bigger share of this inflation.

Unless you start winning against them, of course.
+2 / -0

PTrankraaar
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

It's part of our social nature. I've been trying to ignore loss-aversion and just try to play the 1v1 and have fun, but can't shake it off completely.

Ironically I was barely top20 a year ago then decided to stick to 1v1 mm for months and that went through the steam peak. My rank actually increased into the top10, and somehow, despite often losing to top20 people, they haven't managed to knock me off it yet.

Unranked 1v1 mm would make sense if we had a larger player base. At this point splitting the player pools is only going to make things worse (longer queue times and worse balance). I think we need to incentivize people to play more of it somehow.


suggestions to improve:
- awards/achievements given to people who hold ladder top spots at the end of each month
- hide people from ladder rankings unless they're active, and the requirements should be higher for top10 players
(Godde shouldn't be shown on the top spot if he hasn't played for 24 days)


+3 / -0

GBrankehtomlol
6 months ago
Just let people never decrease in whatever "star" they have. Obviously its ridiculous if people wont play because they are afraid to lose their star...


+5 / -0

USrank[I]amNot[null]Bla1
6 months ago
I feel like we're getting a bit off topic here. I just ask that we add a ranked and unranked queue, so this won't be an issue. It won't be that hard to implement right, and from the discussion above it sounds like the majority of the community is in favor of this.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
6 months ago
Are the two queues independent? You should expect that to at least double wait times, but in reality the waits could be much much longer.

I think GBrankehtomlol is looking in the right direction. The current rank system is all accuracy with no concessions to the humans who are interacting with the system.
+2 / -0

USrank[I]amNot[null]Bla1
6 months ago
(edited 6 months ago)

GoogleFrog, you can just have the option to queue up to both queues and the game will put you in whatever match is found first, and when you are prompted to join a game, it will tell you if the game is for ranked or unranked. Plus I believe with the addition of unranked queues, lots more people will play matchmaking as they have nothing to lose.

EDIT: but yeah I agree a highest rank achieved vs league style grind rank would be better
+2 / -0
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